Dunstable, incorporated on October 15, 1673, once comprised 200 square miles (128,000 acres) extending from Londonderry, New Hampshire, to Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Dunstable was originally incorporated on October 15, 1673, upon the petition of 26 proprietors of land along the Merrimack River. From this tract, 15 separate towns were formed, leaving Dunstable only 10,500 acres of land and a population of 380 in 1790.
It was named in honor of Mrs. Edward Tyng, who emigrated from Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England and was among the early settlers of the land purchased from the Wamisit and Naticook Indians in 1661 for £20 sterling.
In the face of urban sprawl, Dunstable has maintained a largely rural character with the majority of the town zoned as single family housing. The community’s agricultural roots are celebrated in the town motto, “The Profit of the Field is for All.”